They also had a quasi-unique UNIX platform in the form of Services for UNIX, which offered both a BSD and an SVR5 userspace on Windows for x86 or Itanium in the early 2000s. It was actually a really comprehensive system, and held up well until it was phased out (in WS2012, IIRC) and indirectly succeeded by WSL.
I love the list of companies the ad features. A bunch of these clearly are only using Xenix internally (like Apple) but some actually resell it like Radio Shack on the TRS-80.
I used Xenix some back in the day. It was quite the oddball and no fun at all if you had to port code to it from other *NIXen.
I’m not an Apple fan and, thus, I’m not too familiar with their history, so take this with a grain of salt – but I don’t think they were just using it internally. Xenix ran on the Apple Lisa. It didn’t work with Lisa’s graphical display, though – instead, you hooked a serial terminal to it. Some commercial applications, like Lyrix, were available for it (see https://www.macintoshrepository.org/23293-lyrix-for-apple-lisa-xenix ). Bitsavers has a copy of Xenix for Lisa (see http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/bits/Apple/Lisa/xenix_3.0_rel1.0/ ) so I’m guessing this was an external thing as well. Apple may not have been selling it (software releases appear to be SCO’s) but I think this was used in places other than Apple’s own shops :-).
What a strange product, I can’t imagine what the point of it was! Serial-terminal-only Unix for a $9,995 machine whose primary feature was its mouse-driven, high-res GUI. How many of the 10,000 lifetime sales of the machine could’ve been to people that wanted to put in serial cards and hang dumb terminals off of it?
I guess there weren’t too many 68000 machines in 1983, maybe that was some of the appeal? Or maybe somebody at Microsoft or SCO just loved both the Lisa and Xenix… EDIT: or, as another commenter noted: “The eighties were crazy.”
TIL! That’s awesome!
this tumblr seems to agree with you :)
I gotta say, hooking a serial terminal to the Lisa sounds like the most stereotypically Unix nerd thing I’ve ever heard :-D. The eighties were crazy.
It’s amazing how well Microsoft now supports Linux with WSL. Not one but two implementations: one VM based, one with a full emulator for the Linux kernel. I just upgraded to Windows 11 so I could use their built-in Wayland compositor and X Server.
I wonder if embrace, extend, extinguish has just become more sophisticated?
What I meant was: what if the end goal of WSL and trusted computing is that the only “Linux” you can have runs on MS Windows?
Boy would that be terrible!
This is a good a place as any to ask: the authors of Xenix at SCO presented at USENIX in 1984, the talk being “Porting Unix to the Unmapped 8086” (or “Porting Xenix…” I can’t remember).
I tracked down the Proceedings for that USENIX but it’s just a description of the talk (which is not surprising). They mentioned that a paper was forthcoming in CommUNIXations, but I cannot for the life of me find that paper (I don’t even know if it was ever published).
Does anyone know if that paper was ever published? Does anyone know anyone who worked at SCO around 1984 who might know? :)
Oh wow I forgot SCO had a XENIX variant shudder.
I have several sets of scars earned doing battle with various SCO SVR3.2 variants including their “Trusted UNIX” variant which was particularly ornery.
Yeah, Xenix evolved into SCO OpenServer until 5; OpenServer 6 was a strange hybrid of OpenServer bits and UnixWare 7 (so, SVR5 guts.)